Events

The Program in Theater presents a four-day festival of original shows created by and featuring Princeton seniors William Alvarado, Ben Diamond, Chase Hommeyer, Nathan Phan, and Julia Yu.

All shows are free and open to the public in the Drapkin Theater Studio (second level) and CoLab (forum level) at the Lewis Arts complex.

A post-festival talkback discussion will be held May 3 at 2 PM featuring interviews with each of the five seniors and a conversation with the audience moderated by sophomore Nora Aguiar.

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE BY PERFORMANCE

I’m Just Fine by WILL ALVARADO
A graduating Princeton student takes a look back on his years in college, marking the people places and events that turned him into who he is today.
4/26 at 10 PM | 4/28 at 1 + 10 PM

The World is My Therapist by BEN DIAMOND
It’s time for a session.
4/25 at 10 PM | 4/26 at 7 PM | 4/27 at 4 PM

Witch, an autobiographical show written and performed by CHASE HOMMEYER
Have you ever been terrified of the dark? Take my hand and come through the window into the night sky for a 70-minute thrilling coming of age story.
4/25 at 7 PM | 4/27 at 10 PM | 4/28 at 4 PM

Type A by NATHAN PHAN
“What type of Asian am I? You choose.” The Model Minority, the Reject, the Angry Asian, the Oriental Fantasy, and More.
4/26 at 4 PM | 4/27 at 7 PM | 4/28 at 7 PM

The Girl Who Thinks Too Much and the People She Interviewed by JULIA YU
A too-true story of what happens when a Princeton student spends a summer interviewing strangers — and breaks up with her boyfriend in the process.
4/26 at 8 PM | 4/27 at 2 + 8 PM | 4/28 at 5:30 PM | No late seating

 

*All shows presented in the DIY Theater Fest are for mature audiences only. Each deals frankly with questions of sexual and mental health, in addition to a range of topics, themes and behaviors that may be challenging for some audience members. For more specific content advisories and recommendations for each particular show, contact the DIY Theater Fest’s house management staff at the venue or send an email to DIYFest2019@princeton.edu

 

I’m Just Fine by WILL ALVARADO

Photo by Zarnab Virk

This musical follows one student’s four-year journey through Princeton. Taking inspiration from musical revues, cabarets, and Princeton University Player’s annual all-freshmen revue Sex on Broadway, I’m Just Fine centers around the main character, Will, as he struggles and sings his way through a number of situations related to student life at a university. Through his connections with others, such as his parents, teachers, and friends, he is able to deal with any trial he faces, all while maintaining an acceptable GPA, a long-term, long-distance relationship, homesickness, and the general terror that comes from graduating and voyaging out into the real world.

Alvarado, the head writer and lead actor of I’m Just Fine, hails from North Tonawanda, New York, and is currently a senior in the Department of Chemistry pursuing certificates in the Programs in Theater and Music Theater. This musical is his first attempt at playwriting. “All my time on this campus has been spent working on musicals that others have written about their own experiences,” Alvarado said. “But just a year ago, during thesis proposals, I had this incredible epiphany of what it might be like to write my own story, my story, and put it up on that stage for everyone to see.” Over his theatrical career, Alvarado has been involved in nearly every aspect of making theater with his favorite positions being his dual roles of Kevin Rosario/Piragua Guy in the Princeton University Players’ production of In the Heights in 2017, as lighting designer for last year’s Lewis Center production of Next to Normal, and his music theater thesis role of Paulette in last fall’s production of Legally Blonde. Alvarado has spent the past four years at Princeton entrenched in the performing arts, where he has been technical director for the student-run musical theater group Princeton University Players for three years and treasurer and performer in Princeton’s Jewish a cappella group, Koleinu.

The World is my Therapist by BEN DIAMOND

A new musical created and performed by senior Ben Diamond in which he, as he puts it, “sings his heart out before it’s torn out of him by the sharks in the entertainment industry!” He continues, “This musical is a rumination on my life as both a typical and not so typical gay theater kid who uses his friends and loved ones to work through his problems instead of a qualified psychoanalyst.” As he finishes college and enters the professional performing world, he is forced to ask the questions: Why does he perform and who is he? What makes a person need to get onstage and be vulnerable in front of an audience?

CONTENT ADVISORY: Mental health, sexuality

diamond

Photo by Zarnab Virk

Diamond is a sociology major pursuing certificates in both theater and music theater. He originally hails from San Francisco and plans on pursuing a career in the performing arts after Princeton. He has appeared in several shows through the Lewis Center, namely Annie and Rose, Singin’ in the Rain, Hairspray!, Into the Woods, Gurls, and Next to Normal. He also co-devised his theater certificate thesis show, What You Will: A Collection of Scenes from Twelfth Night, in October with three other seniors. Diamond is a member of the Princeton Triangle Club, having performed in the Club’s original musicals for the past four years, as well as Shere Khan A Cappella and BodyHype Dance Company. His regional theater credits include The Crucible at Princeton Summer Theater; Chicago at the Hangar Theater in Ithaca, New York; and Spamalot, Shrek: The Musical, and Mary Poppins at The Muny in St. Louis.

Witch by CHASE HOMMEYER

Photo by Liz Yu & Gaby Polner

Witch is an autobiographical solo show written and performed by senior Chase Hommeyer, which she describes as, “a thrilling, fantastical coming of age story in 70 minutes.” Audiences are invited to follow Chase, a witch, and a stuffed animal, “Pink Baby,” as together they make peace with depression, reflect on family history, and play in a secret world of childhood glee. Weaving in and out of real-life anecdotes and the world of magic and dreams, the show offers a story of, as Hommeyer puts it, “a young girl embracing the source of her fire.”

chase

Photo by Gabriella Chu

Hommeyer is a theater certificate student from San Francisco. Her artistic work is informed by 15 years of theater performance and youth training at the American Conservatory Theater. At Princeton, she has performed in Halfway HomeWe Are Proud to Present…GurlsMad ForestA Streetcar Named DesireBlue Heart, and The Vagina Monologues. She describes her work as weaving together poetry, confessional personal writing, and intense physicality, and visiting the depths of mental illness, sexuality, tenderness, and “fire.” In the academic world, Hommeyer is a sociology major and pursuing a certificate in statistics and machine learning, and her research applies computational statistics to address pressing social issues, most recently working at Princeton’s Eviction Lab to study the housing crisis. She aspires to be a methodologist whose work addresses inequity in knowledge-making by developing collaborative research methodologies that incorporate knowledge and voices ignored by academia.

Type A by NATHAN PHAN

Nathan Sam Nghĩa Phan’s Type A is a show about his discovery of his Asian American identity through the exploration of stereotypes that exist within the Asian American community. “Although I was born and have lived my entire life in California,” he says, “I still get asked questions like ‘Where are you really from?’ and ‘How did you learn to speak English so good?,’ making me think about the ways my Asian American identity is one that is perceived as one-dimensional and ‘Other’.” He notes that his experiences with the first-generation and low-income communities, issues of gender, sexuality, and mental health, and artistic interests have become silenced by questions that essentially typify him. “So, I created this show,” he explains, “as a way to unpack and rebuild the complexities of my Asian American identity and the ways it intersects with other parts of my life. In these one-dimensional stereotypes of Asian Americans, I believe there exists truths in my identity, and I hope to understand the ways to not only grapple with the pains and struggles of identity but to become empowered by it.”

CONTENT ADVISORY: Explicit language, sexual situations, mental health, suicidality, body shame, racism, homophobia and heterosexism, racial stereotypes, self-harm.

phan

Photo by Cam Ha Nguyen

Phan is a senior majoring in comparative literature, focusing on Japanese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese languages and popular culture, and pursuing a certificate in theater. Growing up in the Los Angeles suburb of Rosemead, California, and coming from a Vietnamese immigrant family, he notes he had no experience with theater until coming to Princeton. He began his journey with theater at the end of his first year, when he, Kathy Zhao, Class of 2017, and Tri Le, Class of 2019, founded Princeton East West Theater, an Asian American, all-inclusive theater company that strives to make theater at Princeton accessible and inclusive for students regardless of race or experience. Through Princeton East West Theater, Phan has helped organize a no-auditions scene showcase, a symposium bringing together Asian American theater-makers, and directed his first show She Kills Monsters as a joint-production with the student group Theater Intime. He has been involved in Lewis Center productions of Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery and Gurls, and other Theater Intime productions. Outside of the theater community, Phan also works with members of the first-generation, low-income community through the Scholar Institute Fellows Program and mentors other students through the LGBTQIA+ Peer Educator Program and the Lewis Center’s Student Peer Arts Advisors. He notes that a course in Asian American history with Professor Beth Lew-Williams ignited his passion for Asian American studies, and the performance course “Body and Object: Making Art that is both Sculpture and Dance,” co-taught by Martha Friedman and Susan Marshall, inspired him to imagine performance in his own terms.

The Girl Who Thinks Too Much and the People She Interviewed by JULIA YU

Photo by Felicity Audet

An autobiographical piece written and performed by senior Julia Yu that follows a chronic overthinker through her summer interviewing Asian Americans, a breakup, and beyond. Inspired by a desire to explore her own Chinese American identity, as well as the shared human experience, she brings the audience along on her journey every step of the way, from Princeton to San Francisco, to New York City, and to China. Her self-reflective story that is equally humorous, serious, depressing and inspiring combines docudrama monologues, the challenges associated with creating art, and the lessons she has learned from the process.

NOTE: There will be no late seating.
CONTENT ADVISORY: Strong language, sexual situations, experiences of paranoia

yu

Photo by Elaine Romano

Yu is a senior pursuing a degree in computer science and a certificate in theater. She took her first acting course in fall of her junior year with professional actor Nehassaiu deGannes. She has performed in the Lewis Center’s production of The Book of Miaou, written by Migdalia Cruz and commissioned by the Lewis Center and directed by faculty member Elena Araoz, and in rén(shān/hǎi), a piece written and choreographed by fellow senior Michelle Yeh as part of the dance thesis production Edit & Revise. In 2018, she received the Program in Theater’s Award for Outstanding Work by Underclassmen and was a recipient of a grant from the Lewis Center’s Sam Hutton Fund for the Arts, which she used to gather material for her solo showOutside of acting, Yu has been studying improvisational comedy for five years, taking classes at the Peoples Improv Theater and UCB Theater in New York City and BATS Improv in San Francisco. On campus, she founded Child’s Play Improv Comedy and is also part of the International Food Co-op. Yu was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was later raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She blogs at juliayu.me, on topics ranging from design to her Princeton experience.

directions

The Donald G. Drapkin Theater Studio is located on the second floor of the Wallace Dance Building at the Lewis Arts complex. The CoLab is located in the Forum (street level), adjacent to the Lee Music Room at the Lewis Arts complex, 122 Alexander Street, Princeton. View map of Lewis Arts complex

View directions and campus maps, information on parking and public transit, and other venue information on our Venues & Directions page »

Learn about access information on our Accessibility page »

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  • Program in Theater